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How to Start a Small Business: Entrepreneurship 101

1 minute Read

how to start a businessThere are certain qualities no entrepreneur can ever have too much of, such as the ability to generate ideas, spot and cultivate talent, and apply energy and passion. That’s because setting up a business requires wading through an overwhelming assortment of details. Though starting your own small business is certainly exciting, you will at times need to roll up your sleeves and get down to the brass tacks. To help you do just that, this outline covers the fundamentals of how to start a business.

Draw up a business plan. You have an idea, but where do you want to take that idea? A business plan is the roadmap your business will follow for the next three to five years, keeping you on track and allowing you to adapt to the changing business environment. As a result, a good business plan must be flexible.

Choose a location. Even if you will conduct your business primarily online, you’ll probably need offices. In order to attract the right employees, you’ll need those offices to be in a good location, near public transit and major population centers — or somewhere people just want work.

What’s in a name? A simple but fundamental part of any business, the name should encapsulate what your business does, make it stand out and also be memorable. Once you come up with an idea, ask friends and acquaintances what they think. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when they hear your proposed name?  

Secure capital. Whether you obtain a small-business loan, raise money through investors or dip into your personal savings, you’ll need a source of funding to get started. How much you need depends on your projected operating expenses and when you plan to start generating revenue.  

Do the legal work. You’ll need to fill out a host of legal documents in order to incorporate and run your business. You’ll have to determine the legal structure of your business, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, nonprofit or something else. You’ll also need to register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, as well as ensure you have any applicable federal, state and local permits and licenses.

Recruit employees. What skills are absolutely necessary during the early stages of operating your business? What kind of personalities are you looking for? The nice thing about running a young business is that you have more control over who you hire and you have a great opportunity to find the talent that’s best for your company.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This is not investment, tax, or legal advice. Should you have questions, please consult your own attorney, tax accountant, or other appropriate expert having expertise in the area of your question or before making important decisions in these areas.